First, let me say that being single is a very special blessing (that can potential turn into a curse). The key to knowing where you stand in relation to this subject is understanding “WHY” you are single.
Paul, in one of his most controversial writings in the bible, declares that in his opinion it is better to stay single than to marry.
[I Corinthians 7:32-34 …But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.]
Why would Paul say such crazy things? You need only ask a married person to realize how much your world is turned upside down once you say “I do.” I was a seminary student with about 27 credits left to complete my master’s degree in Divinity when I got married a year and a half ago. Back then I was the co-chair of the Black Student Caucus at my Seminary.
I worked diligently with interdenominational work to bridge the gaps between religious groups in the city of Indianapolis. I volunteered for countless noble causes. In particular, I spent a summer in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania working at a Bible camp for $150 bucks a week.
I was a part of Simplywriteous (a Christian spoken word community) where I wrote new poetry almost daily. I wrote more stories, poems, songs, and sermons then I ever had in my life. I traveled more in response to ministry and fostering positive Christian friendships (Seattle, North Carolina, Atlanta, etc.). Ultimately my life was moving REALLY fast and I was at liberty to respond without much hesitation. I was nimble because everything was optional. I excelled at my job and saw openings in multiple areas before me.
Yet, I had the boldness to choose because I knew if things didn’t work out it wouldn’t be a big deal to do something else. I made more than I needed and my bills were an after thought. I finally thought I was putting work into the background and God in the foreground of my life. Yet, I was missing something. It was just this void that work didn’t fill, revivals didn’t fill, seeing the world didn’t fill, and friendships didn’t fill.
*Now, a year and a half later, I have a wife that is five months pregnant, work more hours than I’ve ever worked in my life, worry about fluctuating heat bills, and can’t seem to find a safe enough car seat for my unborn child. I don’t travel nearly as much. I honestly haven’t been anywhere extravagant in a year (the longest I’ve sat still since I started undergraduate college).
Though I still read the Bible and stay actively involved in church, I’m not doing the amount of work I did before. I’ve taken a leave of absence from seminary and I’m still 18 credits away from graduation (I was originally scheduled to graduate May 2006). I recently was asked to go preach in Africa at a conference but immediately turned it down because I can’t afford to make such a big investment in airfare with my wife looking to take some time off from work while she tends to a newborn later this year.
I write far less. My creative juices still flow but I don’t have the free time to sit in front of a pad of paper and just scribble “blah, blah, blah” while my thoughts crystallize.
However, I know a whole lot more about kitchen tables, rugs, woman’s clothing, great romantic holiday ideas, women’s watches, and even (get this) women’s television/movies (lol).
You might not believe me but my life is fuller now.
*Originally WRITTEN 04/2007 but still very relevant
(Stay Tuned for part two as the next post.)